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Showing posts from May, 2018

Memorial Day 2018, Lux Aeterna by Eriks Esenvalds

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This YouTube seemed just right for Memorial Day here in the USA. Okay, it’s in Latin, composed by a contemporary Latvian composer, and sung by a Slovenian girls’ choir. But there is still that longing for eternal light and the wish to remember those who have gone before us.
Esenvalds was born in Latvia in 1977. You can find out more about his awards, commissions, etc. at his website. And YouTube will give you a wealth of his music. Of course, I selected this one not only because of the holiday but because this is the treble voice arrangement. And you know about me and trebles, don’t you?

Byzantine Chants for Pentecost and St. Kassiani

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Here’s the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir of All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery. While it’s a bit lengthy, I’m always interested in women singing Byzantine chant. It is So typically seen as the province of male chanters. Listen to a little or a lot. Happy Pentecost for the West - for the East, next week! The Holy Spirit listeth when and where it will.

This choir was formed by the nuns of All Saints Monastery, who recognized the limited opportunities for skilled women chanters to participate in regular Byzantine liturgies. I hope you enjoy their clear tone.

Who is St. Kassiani (also known as St. Kassia)? She is the earliest women hymnographer and melodist whose works are both still extant and able to be interpreted by modern performers.  Born into a wealthy family in Constantinople, she was part of the “bride parade” to find a wife for the young emperor Theophilos the Iconoclast. While he was smitten by her good looks, her clever response to a remark of his put him off and he chose anot…

Agnus Dei by Ivo Antognini

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Here's a lovely contemporary Agnus Dei by the Italian Swiss composer Ivo Antognini. Performed by the Girls' Choir of the Koper Music School in Slovenia, it is very quiet at the opening, so don't hesitate to turn up the volume on your device.
You can learn more about Antognini from his website. Interestingly, he came to choral composing via a children's choir amd consequently has written a great deal of music for treble voices.

My apologies for the gap in posting, but I was out in the great state of California, eating, drinking, mingling, and having the pleasure of some time with composer Frank La Rocca (more to come on that in the future).